Originally Posted by don480
Hi....I haven't been on this thread for a long time or even post often but I am excited to share that I own a pair of JBL Studio 530's bookshelves and JBL Studio 520 Center. I love these speakers. I have them hooked up to a Yamaha RX-A3020. My receiver seem to have plenty of power to push these speakers but for some reason I am so tempted to purchase the Emotiva XPR-5 which is probably overkill for these speakers. Especially the fact that these speakers are rated at 150 watts RMS per channel and the Emotiva puts out 400 watts per channel @ 8 ohms however, the JBL's are 6 ohm. So does anyone have any opinions? Should i be concerned of blowing these speakers? Am I going to hear a major difference in sound quality. I am more concerned with getting more dynamic range and superior sound quality (full deep sound). Is this a good combination? or Should I consider the smaller Emovtiva XPA-5? Or should I consider a different Amp all together that would be a better combination with my system? I use 70 percent for home theater and 30 percent for music. Eventually, I plan on purchasing the floor standing JBL Studio 590s which definitely can handle more power. Any thoughts?
You won't harm your speakers unless you crank the volume up to the max, which is unlikely as you would hear horrendous distortion and, hopefully, turn it back down before any damage occurred. Onkyos have a volume limit you can set to prevent this sort of thing but IDK if Yamaha does.
The real issue is why you feel the need to add an external amp if your AVR "has plenty of power". You won’t notice any difference at all in SQ unless your current amps are not capable of driving your speakers, in your room, to the SPLs you want, without clipping. If you are clipping the current amps, then you need more power, but if you are not driving the current amps into clipping, having unused power will make no difference to the SQ. IDK but I suspect that your JBLs present a fairly easy load to an amp, so you won’t benefit there either by using external amps.
If you are pushing your current amps to the limit, short of clipping, to achieve the SPLs you want, then you could possibly benefit from more headroom, but from what you say this doesn't seem to be the case.
So, on balance, I would say you will not benefit really from a new amp.
The big improvements in SQ come from better speakers and subs, proper placement of the speakers and sub(s) and room treatments. If you are really after a substantial improvement in SQ this is where you should be looking to spend your money. If you currently have one sub, you could get a good improvement in your bass by adding another (preferably identical). If your current sub is not of high quality, you could use the money you have saved by not buying an unnecessary amp to buy a really good sub. Or you could use the money towards the speaker upgrade you are thinking of anyway. All of those will give you much more significant changes in SQ than a new amp. If you don't have WAF issues, room treatments will give you the biggest possible bang for your buck - way, way in excess of new electronics.